D2 softball: Holy Redeemer edges Mid Valley, advances to 3A title game

By John Erzar - [email protected]
Holy Redeemer’s Jillian Smith slides safely into third base as Mid Valley’s Lindsey Jason waits for the throw during Tuesday’s District 2 Class 3A semifinal game. - Sean McKeag | Times Leader
Holy Redeemer center fielder Allyson Laiuvara catches a flyball hit by Mid Valley’s Lindsey Jason in the fourth inning Tuesday. - Sean McKeag | Times Leader
Holy Redeemer’s Taylor Josefowicz makes a play at first base for an out against Mid Valley on Tuesday. Josefowicz scored the game’s only run. - Sean McKeag | Times Leader
Holy Redeemer’s Allyson Laiuvara bats against Mid Valley on Tuesday. - - Sean McKeag | Times Leader

WILKES-BARRE — Taylor Josefowicz not only escaped during one of Holy Redeemer’s strangest plays of the season, she eventually ended up scoring the game’s only run Tuesday.

Josefowicz scored on an error on Lynzie Skoronski’s grounder in the sixth inning as Redeemer defeated Mid Valley 1-0 in a District 2 Class 3A softball semifinal, sending the Royals to a sixth consecutive district championship game.

The one run would be all Redeemer would need as pitcher Morgan Bienkowski was once again outstanding, striking out 13 and allowing two hits. The Royals will play Montrose at 4:30 p.m. Friday at the University of Scranton for the D2-3A championship. Montrose defeated Lakeland 2-1 in the other semifinal.

“We knew it was going to be a one-run game,” Mid Valley coach Mike Piercy said. “A 1-0, 2-1 game. It was going to come down to who is going to execute in the crunch time. They did a better job when pressure was on. I think it was the sixth.”

Josefowicz singled to start the sixth inning and moved to second on a throwing error on her hit. McKenna Dolan followed and pulled back the bat on a bunt attempt on a pitch in the dirt. Josefowicz broke for third, only to have the ball ricochet off the shin guard of Mid Valley catcher Angel Popko and right to third baseman Lindsey Jason.

Lindsey Jason tried to chase down Josefowicz heading back to second before throwing to second baseman Danielle Jason, who was scrambling back into position after rotating to first on the bunt. Somehow, Josefowicz emerged from a dust cloud safe.

“It was honestly a toss-up,” Josefowicz said of whether she thought she would be safe. “I was hoping.”

Josefowicz finally got to third on Allyson Laiuvara’s infield single that died in front of the plate. She scored when Skoronski’s grounder was booted.

Mid Valley’s best threat came in the sixth when Courtney Davies was on third with one out. A bunt, though, came back in the air to Bienkowski, who then doubled up Davies.

Davies was the only Spartan to get to second base all game. Bienkowski was working on a perfect game when Davies lofted her single to short left field.

Redeemer finished with seven hits but stranded eight runners, including four in scoring position.

“Up and down our order, we put the ball in play all day today,” Redeemer coach Jerry Paulukonis said. “For the second time all year, that’s what we did. I think (Mid Valley pitcher Mackenzie Mitchko) had two strikeouts, if I’m not mistaken.

“We put the ball in play. We just weren’t finding the holes. They weren’t swing at that great of pitches so so we were flubbing the ball a little bit.”

DISTRICT 2 CLASS 3A SEMIFINAL

Holy Redeemer 1, Mid Valley 0

Mid Valley`AB`R`H`BI

D.Jason 2b`3`0`1`0

L.Jason 3b`3`0`0`0

Harrington 1b`3`0`0`0

Morano cf`3`0`0`0

Pawelski lf`2`0`0`0

Owens ss`2`0`0`0

Davies ss`2`0`1`0

Mitchko p`2`0`0`0

Popko c`1`0`0`0

Laboranti ph`1`0`0`0

Totals`22`0`2`0

Redeemer`AB`R`H`BI

Bienkowski p`3`0`2`0

Rajza ss`3`0`1`0

Wren c`2`0`1`0

Josefowicz 1b`3`1`1`0

Dolan 2b`3`0`1`0

Laiuvara cf`3`0`1`0

Skoronski 3b`3`0`0`0

Baird lf`3`0`0`0

McDermott dp`3`0`0`0

Murray cf`0`0`0`0

Totals`26`1`7`0

Mid Valley`000`000`0 — 0

Redeemer`000`001`x — 1

Mid Valley`IP`H`R`ER`BB`SO

Mitchko L`6.0`7`1`0`1`2

Redeemer`IP`H`R`ER`BB`SO

Bienkowski W`7.0`1`0`0`0`13

Holy Redeemer’s Jillian Smith slides safely into third base as Mid Valley’s Lindsey Jason waits for the throw during Tuesday’s District 2 Class 3A semifinal game.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_TTL053018HSSOFTRedeemerMidValley1.jpgHoly Redeemer’s Jillian Smith slides safely into third base as Mid Valley’s Lindsey Jason waits for the throw during Tuesday’s District 2 Class 3A semifinal game. Sean McKeag | Times Leader

Holy Redeemer center fielder Allyson Laiuvara catches a flyball hit by Mid Valley’s Lindsey Jason in the fourth inning Tuesday.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_TTL053018HSSOFTRedeemerMidValley2.jpgHoly Redeemer center fielder Allyson Laiuvara catches a flyball hit by Mid Valley’s Lindsey Jason in the fourth inning Tuesday. Sean McKeag | Times Leader

Holy Redeemer’s Taylor Josefowicz makes a play at first base for an out against Mid Valley on Tuesday. Josefowicz scored the game’s only run.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_TTL053018HSSOFTRedeemerMidValley3.jpgHoly Redeemer’s Taylor Josefowicz makes a play at first base for an out against Mid Valley on Tuesday. Josefowicz scored the game’s only run. Sean McKeag | Times Leader

Holy Redeemer’s Allyson Laiuvara bats against Mid Valley on Tuesday.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_TTL053018HSSOFTRedeemerMidValley4.jpgHoly Redeemer’s Allyson Laiuvara bats against Mid Valley on Tuesday. Sean McKeag | Times Leader

By John Erzar

[email protected]

Reach John Erzar at 570-991-6394 or on Twitter @TLJohnErzar

Reach John Erzar at 570-991-6394 or on Twitter @TLJohnErzar